"Drinks are on you, then," I say.
"I've spent £35,000 since the Lottery started, and had five back," he says.
He'd come to the shop at six, having forgotten that it opens at half-past. He thinks he's in the early stages of Alzheimer's.
Here's some lines of comment that could come out of this, but you can easily expand them yourself, I'm sure:
- Mathematics - the Lottery gives back 45% in prizes, but averaging-out could take forever
- What is a Government doing, making gambling so easy and readily available (and it started under the Tories)?
- How much would this man have had, if he'd saved £208 per month since 1994?
- Now that insurance salesmen have disappeared, what has happened to savings among the C2/D classes? Has financial consumer protection (after the pensions mis-selling compensation and regulation bonanza) indirectly impoverished them and made them more dependent on the State?
I expect you can come up with more, and better.
And then there's drink, from allowing supermarkets to sell it along with your groceries, to 24-hour booze licensing.
Are misguided arguments for liberty being used to enslave people to their weaknesses? Should heavily-capitalised businesses be allowed to batten on those flaws?